Multitasking isn’t easy.
And while women are purportedly exceptionally good at spinning many plates in the air all at once–personally, my plates have spun completely out of orbit.
I don’t like to talk about it. (So, I’m writing about it instead)
Generally, but especially since COVID19, I do everything I can do disguise the fact that I have 5 children, that I’m half-way listening to everyone (teachers, colleagues, friends, family, even you), that my feminist talk track is playing louder than ever, that I can’t enable video for conferencing at work because I don’t want anyone to notice my eyes are permanently stuck in the back of my head.
If I wanted to be a fulltime actor on the big screen of corporate America, I’d have moved to Hollywood. And I definitely wouldn’t have chosen this set, where my lighting rig, trust me, cannot hide the fact that I’ve aged 5 years in the past 5 months.
Yes, I’m rolling my eyes a lot. I’m rolling my eyes about sadistic reminders to sign up for virtual school reminders. I’m rolling my eyes when colleagues go long on meetings because they were better at family planning than me, and apparently have plenty of spare time to infinitely recap objectives without children screaming in the background.
Yes, my house currently sounds like a debt collection call center on steroids.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m also going past the hour on some meetings because I feel guilty for staying silent in the meeting prior as a result of putting myself on mute to breakup a physical fight over the last cinnamon roll. That cinnamon roll was MINE by the way.
I’ve always been the type who doesn’t like to throw out excuses like, “The dog ate my homework.” So, the fact that I find myself being transparent about my struggle to manage it all, is pretty upsetting.
I feel like I’m just making excuses. Like I should just be happy for gainful employment. That I should cut the virtual school some slack. That I should stop planning for a promotion and financial independence because it isn’t the right time for dreams. That I should spend more time with my aging relatives because Corona increases their chances of dying sooner.
My employer is awesome in the fact that they provide a benefit for parents to get financial assistance with virtual schooling during the pandemic. But this still requires an investment of my own time in train the trainer.
My employer is even more awesome because they provide a plethora of information and resources on “coping.” But somehow, being more aware of everything I should be doing to maintain my sanity, makes me even more insane.
I’m very hard on myself, and maybe not hard enough because apparently I haven’t taught my kids that saying “Shut the fork up,” is almost just as bad as the alternative.
All of that being said, I recall the quote by Teddy Roosevelt:
“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”
Thank you, Teddy, for the timely reminder.
Here’s my solution for now (before I go address the situation with my daughter who is hyper-ventilating about a missed art project deadline). Keep in mind, this isn’t a one size fits all.
1. Don’t quit. Wait to get fired. “Ladies,” you’ve come too far.
2. Find a fellow colleague who understands you and rehearse muting/unmuting to polish your rapid transitions from anger and frustration to patience and professionalism.
3. Hug your kids and thank them for teaching you a kinder way to express what you’ve always said to them under your breath anyway, “Shut the fork up.”
Mommy’s on a forkin’ call!!!!!